Interim operational customs support
Finding the right resource for gaps in your customs team is hard. Thankfully, interim operational customs support helps to keep your business moving. Our consultant, Marino, explains in this article.
Can you give us an overview of what interim operational customs support is?
Interim operational customs support is where we work inside your operation. Whether it’s processing import and export declarations, managing bonded licences and inventory, raising transit forms, working with HS classification, or another service that only qualified customs consultants can do, we fill the gap so that your business can keep moving whilst remaining efficient, compliant, and on time.
You recently completed a 3-month placement with a fashion logistics company. Can you give us an overview of that project?
The company has offices worldwide, but this branch is based in Holland, and they import items into the EU for placing inside a bonded warehouse. From there, they either sell the goods on within the EU and pay the taxes at the point of sale, or they re-export without paying any tax.
We provided interim operational customs support for this company because their business is rapidly expanding, and they needed more qualified customs personnel in the warehouse to keep up with the growth. The specific tasks that they needed my help with were:
- Registration of imported goods.
- Coordinating audits with customs authorities.
- Re-exporting the goods and closing off the bond.
- Managing every movement in and out in the warehouse management system.
- T1 transit forms.
Additionally, I also advised them on changing some of their HS codes so that they could more accurately declare their goods to customs and reclaim a significant amount of duty on some of the items that were incorrectly classified on past declarations.
What is the added value for the customer when they use Customs Support?
In this case, specifically, it’s having someone who is both fully certified with Dutch customs warehousing, and who has broader knowledge of the industry.
To work in bonded warehousing in The Netherlands, you have to have a licence as the broker who is completing the declarations and processes. It cannot be done by someone who is training, or someone who knows customs but does not have this licence. Your bond licence depends on this, and you risk losing it if someone who doesn’t have it made an error or is noticed during an audit.
Finding someone in this capacity is challenging at times, as it takes about two years to acquire the licence, but it is even harder to find someone who has comprehensive experience in the greater industry alongside this. If your warehouse operative only knows bonded warehousing, then you risk having a gap in your team’s knowledge.
By bringing in an external interim operational customs consultant from a neutral provider like Customs Support, you can simultaneously fill the gap in your team that you immediately need, whilst getting a fresh and experienced review of your processes to find other opportunities for improvement.
We usually do a quick scan when we start a project to make sure we give as much value as we can during our placements.
In this case, we found that original documents were not received that are essential for claiming preference, and ensured that the process of obtaining them was emphasised and the outstanding originals were received. Without these, customs could demand payment of duties for the shipments where they are missing.
Additionally, we were able to identify incorrect HS codes that had significant cost the company in overpaid duty. Not only were able to reclaim these funds, but they will continuously save going forwards.
Would you benefit from interim operational customs support?
Our consultants provide expertise to companies just like yours across the EU and UK, supported by over 1500 declarants in 70 offices. If you could use our expertise to streamline your processes or strategise for the future, contact us today.